Where to Eat in El Paso
It’s hard to believe that I moved to Colorado in 1998 – that was 18 years ago! Seriously? Where have the years gone? I always say, “El Paso is my home”, but in fact I have lived in Colorado longer than I lived in El Paso. Kinda crazy to realize that.
When I miss El Paso, not only do I miss my family, homemade dishes, and culture, but I also miss some of my favorite restaurants. I road tripped to El Paso in June thanks to Toyota for the comfortable ride, and of course I had to stop at some of my favorite restaurants and wanted to share the places I visited with you.
There is so much good food on the borderland. If you live in El Paso or are from there you know that we have a love affair with our food. El Pasoans have a beautiful connection with food and memories – not only home cooked meals but at establishments that have been around for years.
First stop is always Chico’s Tacos. It is such a crazy concept and not “authentic Mexican” cuisine, but their rolled tacos/flautas served in a special sauce is so addicting. You wouldn’t expect drenched soggy flautas to taste so good, but they are magical. I have a recipe for homemade Chico’s Tacos here. When I think of Chico’s Tacos I think of Gabriel Iglesias, AKA Fluffy and his skit about floating Chico’s Tacos. Watch it to understand this hardcore El Paso tradition.
Technically this restaurant is not in El Paso – it’s 20 miles outside of town in Fabens — in the middle of the desert. This restaurant is family owned by Germans who moved to Texas and purchased the property in the 1960’s, which started out as a horseback-riding ranch. Now, it’s a hidden paradise for meat lovers since 1973.
Their steaks are aged to perfection and seasoned with secret seasonings and considered one of the best steakhouses in the country. When I think of El Paso I think of the Wild West and beef, and Cattleman’s serves it all at Indian Cliffs Ranch.
La Posta de Mesilla
La Posta is also not in El Paso, but only a short drive to Mesilla, New Mexico. It had been years since I visited Old Mesilla. This roaring Wild West town has so much western history.
If these walls could talk – in the 1800’s La Posta was once a stagecoach line and sheltered historical figures such as Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa just to name a few.
La Posta opened in 1939 and serves authentic home-style Mexican dishes and is a great place to stop for a full meal or appetizers and margaritas. Known for their creative use of local products such as chile, honey, and pecans, each margarita is a unique and delicious tasting experience. Old Mesilla is a great place to shop for wine, art, pottery, jewelry, and décor. I won’t go into detail, but lets just say the shopping in Old Mesilla was some much needed retail therapy.
Flautas y Paletería Tepalca
When I’m in El Paso I am always on the hunt for elote en vaso (corn in a cup). Just typing this and seeing this picture seriously makes my mouth water. My mom took me to a restaurant I had never been to before called Flautas y Paletería Tepalca. It’s tucked inside a strip center and if you blink you might miss it, but I’m telling you it’s worth the stop. Their elote en vaso was delicious, but not only that, they have very good flautas, aguas frescas, and paletas. Tepalca is an El Pasoan’s dream that longs for Juarez street food.
There are so many other restaurants I love in El Paso and I wish I could have visited them all. I have a feeling this blog post won’t be the last one I share about the delicious border food of El Paso I crave.
If you have a favorite El Paso restaurant that I didn’t mention, please tell me about it below.
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Special thanks to Toyota for the 2016 Highlander Hybrid loan.
20 Comments on “Where to Eat in El Paso”
I drove 2.5 hours each way on my only day off when I lived in New Mexico as a wildland firefighter…just to eat at Kiki’s (although Nellie’s in Las Cruces was always my first stop).
My family craves ChicosTacos and when we go on a shopping trip to El Paso they always ask us to bring them doubles. Some of our favorite restaurants were Luby’s & Furr’s cafeterias, Pancho’s and Leo’s restaurants when we lived there in the 80’s. We still celebrate birthdays at Carlos & Mickey’s near Basset Center with family and friends. Thank you for sharing your recollection of memories and your recipes.
I’m so glad I discovered you.
I’m also a Tejana, that left Laredo for ohio years ago. And, I miss my culture & food. Your website makes me feel right at home.
I remember these recipes too with my mom.(Lupe)
(Especially the Oatmeal with Cinnamon sticks)
Thank you so much, Adriana De los Santos Esposito
El Paso will always be home, no matter where I live. Chico’s Tacos is definitely a must, L&J for sure and can’t forget House of Pizza. In Virginia, there are no authentic Mexican restaurants. The closest to Latin cuisine are Salvadorian and Honduran restaurants.
When we crave authentic food, we cook at home. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.
My favorite whole in the wall restaurant is Los Molcajetes near EPCC. The best and delicious homemade and authentic Mexican food!
I have been away from “home” for 22ish years but every time I go home, I have my go to. Can’t miss out on House of Pizza, Delicious for gorditas, La Malinche, and Carlos and Mickey’s (especially for Sunday brunch).
Awesome list! Little Diner for sure. We also love Leo’s/Avila’s.
I’ll be in El Paso for a 50th year reunion. I left El Paso right after graduating from HS. I look forwards to the good food and visiting w friends and family
Thank you so much for inviting me on this trip. I had a great time and it was great to experience the food too!
I left El Paso in 1985, but it will always be home! I love House of Pizza, Stateline and Capetto’s (which is now gone). I bought your cookbook because my mother does not cook with recipes. It’s all in her head. I make all her recipes the same way, so I bought your cookbook to have something written down. Keep posting!
I agree with Monique (except for Chico’s, I never understood the attraction). L&J is definitely the best! Kiki’s is good and House of Pizza (all in the 5-Points area). Gussey’s Tamales are there ,too (very good Tamales). I grew up in E.P., but left when I was fairly young. We visit often, though and always hit our favorites. I live in AZ now and sadly although they have OK Mexican food none come close to the great food in El Paso.
Oh you had me reminiscing! My husband and I went on dates to Cattlemans. El paso was where we met when we were both stationed there. I’d love to go back.
All these places are favorites, plus Andale and Malinche. We have to visit Kikis next time you are here mija. Have been there once and it was really good.
Carnitas Queretero best all-round Juarez transplant in EP. El Taco Tote for fast authentic Mexican and their salsa bar. Also Delicias for tacos barbacoas. Lupita’s for tamales especially around Christmas.
And the gorditas at Delicious on Ft. Blvd. are awesome too!
We enjoyed L&J the one time we went. Our new favorite is Andale. I’ve eaten Chico’s Tacos once, and haven’t figured out the addicting aspect of it, but my husband’s sons, and one of their wives are addicted, so every time we visit them in San Antonio we are required to pick up several double orders of Chico’s Tacos for them… We’ll definitely have to check out Tepalca.
My families favorite places that we always must visit are Kiki’s, La Malinche, and of course Carlos and Mickeys. I also try to go to all the panadeias I can but nothing beats Bowie Bakery! I will make sure to visit that place with Elote en Vaso looks so good. There a few places here in Oregon that have it but they call it esquite and not as good as the ones back home, but they sure do help the craving.
Going home for Thanksgiving and can’t wait for some Kikis.. Chicos… L&J’s and some House of Pizza
The gorditas at Little Diner are on my “to-do” list for EP visits.
I left El Paso in 1995 to dance at Walt Disney World and miss my home town – especially the food – so much. Life has taken me to Las Vegas and Orlando most of this time and nothing compares to the food back home.